Thursday, 29 November 2012

82 percent of Irish employees say outdated working practices holding them back

New research published today by Ricoh

reveals that businesses in Ireland and across Europe are finding it a

challenge to keep up with the pace of technology-led change. A

significant 82 per cent of employees feel the way they work is out of

date and prevents them from being as effective and efficient as they

could be. This will have an impact on their ability to grow revenue and

profits and support their client needs in the future.

The report is part of the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 conducted

on behalf of Ricoh by Coleman Parkes Research. 1,075 interviews were

carried out among C-level executives, directors and other employees in

organisations across Europe, including Ireland.

The research reveals what employees really think are the best ways of

meeting the challenges of an increasingly global, mobile and

collaborative workplace. According to respondents, the answer goes

beyond adopting new technologies and collaboration tools. Just one per

cent of employees favoured collaboration tools, and four per cent said

more investment in the latest technology, was the way to most positively

impact the processes they work with. Instead, employees recommend more

regular reviews of the way they work and higher level executive

sponsorship to champion any improvements to the business critical

document processes underpinning operations such as finance, HR and


When asked to think about how the workplace meets the needs of employees

now and in 2015, 65 per cent of those surveyed believed that global

connectivity will be most important by 2015, compared to only 39 per

cent today. Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh UK and Ireland, said. "It's

not surprising that global connectivity is perceived as being so

important for employees in the coming years. This is particularly true

for Ireland. Global connectivity is obviously essential for the

multinationals based in Ireland but it's also increasingly important for

indigenous Irish companies who are looking to international markets for

export-led growth."

The research also reveals a notable gap between board-level perception

and the reality experienced by employees in the workplace. 93 per cent

of C-level/Directors surveyed said employee feedback is gathered

regularly and training provided when new hardware or software is

introduced, with far fewer employees agreeing: just 77 per cent agreed

their feedback is gathered before and after a new technology roll-out,

and only 76 per cent said they receive training.

Chas Moloney commented, "While this gap may not seem huge, it does still

mean a significant number of employees do not feel fully involved in the

roll-out of a new technology. Business leaders will be familiar with

the need for a process of change management when they introduce a new

way of working, but it seems in many businesses across Ireland and

Europe, this process simply is not taking place. The result is employees

feel excluded from decisions that impact the way they work, and

businesses risk new investments not delivering their full potential."

With many organisations now managing four or even five generations in

the workplace, the research highlighted some generational differences

when it comes to managing business documents, as well as a broad level

of harmony. There's consensus among the generations that sharing and

having a central place to access information from any location is

important today and would remain so in 2015.

The research showed that the younger generation ('Generation C' - aged

25 or under) want to work within a formal structure, with tasks reviewed

often so they can continue to learn and improve themselves. Generation

X (aged between 36 and 47) said that effective home working is most

important to them, perhaps reflecting a more balanced work/life

approach. It's important then, that businesses support employee desires

to be mobile, but must ensure their business processes and documents are

accessible securely and effectively outside the office.

"The opportunity for businesses is to listen more closely to their

employees, consult with them every step of the way, and maximise their

knowledge and experience. It's important that senior management can

understand the needs of different generations and be able to give them

access to business information and structures that they are comfortable

with. Employees are a valuable resource that should be front and centre

of any document process improvements," concluded Chas Moloney.